Community College of Denver Honors Four with MLK Community Leadership Awards
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exemplified community leadership and made it the cornerstone of his civil rights ministry. He inspired people to continue his work in their communities. In the spirit of Dr. King, Community College of Denver (CCD) honored four community leaders, John and Sharon Bailey, Elaine Baker and Moses Brewer at its annual MLK Day event on Thursday, January 24th at St. Cajetan's Cathedral on the Auraria Campus.
During the ceremony, CCD also proudly presented the 2019 Wellington Webb MLK Scholarships, which recognizes CCD students who are also leaders in their own right. This two-part scholarship incentivizes academic success by distributing half of the scholarship in the spring, and the other half upon completion and continued enrollment in the fall semester.
This year’s recipients were Jasmine White — who is studying social work at CCD so she can help families make changes that will improve the quality of their lives — and James McDermott — who is studying political science. James is passionate about the environment and over-population.
About the Honorees
Living Legend: Moses Brewer
Moses Brewer knows his purpose in life and credits his mother with teaching him.
“My mother always told me that charity begins at home and is spread abroad and that you have to give in order to live. I’ve never forgotten those words and have made that my dharma — my purpose in life.”
Brewer grew up in the small town of Florence, Alabama. The youngest of nine, he was raised by his mother after his father died when he was six.
Offered basketball scholarships to several schools, Brewer decided to attend the University of Denver (DU). After graduating with a B.A. in Physical Education and Recreation, Brewer worked for the university for several years. While he was on staff at DU, he obtained an M.A. in Speech Communications. He left DU in 1982 and started his long and respected career at Coors Brewing Company, where he retired in 2014.
In 2013, Brewer and his colleagues orchestrated the donation of $1.3 million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which provides scholarships to 47 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). He also sponsored five HBCU football classics and established the MillerCoors Scholars Program.
Over the course of Brewer’s career, he received many awards and honors and has been recognized for outstanding achievements and contributions. He is a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver and 100 Black Men of America. He also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the first successful and oldest African-American Greek-lettered organization.
In 2014, Moses and his wife Gwen, in partnership with Retired Major General Elder and Brenda Granger, established the Moses Brewer Men’s Basketball Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of Denver.
As a cancer survivor, he currently works to educate African-Americans about prostate cancer by personally sharing his story to the community.
Wilma and I are proud to call Moses and his wife, Gwen, our friends and we congratulate Moses on receiving the Martin Luther King award from the Community College of Denver."
~Wellington & Wilma Webb
Community Leaders | John & Sharon Bailey
In 1976, John moved his family to Denver. For several years, Bailey was the president and owner of a small sportswear business and currently owns The Bailey Consulting Network, a community consulting business emphasizing organizational outreach development for corporate, political and community programs.
His commitment and guidance to Joint Effort Youth Foundation (a youth development sports and education program), which he founded for Colorado and Denver-metro youth, is known throughout the state and nation for its positive impact on young people and student-athletes. Bailey has assisted more than 3,000 young people in securing scholarships and/or financial support to attend college.
Over the past 40 years, his outstanding community service involvement has included volunteering for the YMCA as well as numerous city programs and recreation centers. His dedication and support for Denver programs have been impactful over the years to many neighborhood groups, churches, sororities, fraternities, and organizations.
Bailey’s hard work, no-nonsense attitude, problem-solving, and organizational skills (as well as his sense of humor) have gained him high respect from all sectors of the Denver and national communities. He served two U.S. presidents in developing strategies around anti-gang and anti-drug programs across the nation. He is also the guiding force of the Colorado Black Round Table (CBRT), one of Colorado’s major black community organizations whose purpose and mission is to provide advocacy, information and programs for the African American community.
Dr. Sharon Bailey
Sharon R. Brown Bailey, Ph.D. is a native of Denver and graduate of Denver’s East High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree in interdisciplinary social science and a Ph.D. in public administration from the University of Colorado. From 1988-1995, she served as an elected member of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. Currently, Dr. Bailey works with the school district as a program manager of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Professionally, she has held several administrative positions in higher education and municipal government. Dr. Bailey was the primary researcher and author of the qualitative study, An Examination of Student Educator Experiences in Denver Public Schools through the Voices of African American Teachers and Administrators. The findings of her report led to the establishment of the Denver Public Schools African American Equity Task Force. The recommendations of the task force now serve as a guide for achieving greater institutional equity for African American students and educators.
For more than 30 years, Dr. Bailey has served in a leadership role for the International Black Women’s Congress (IBWC). She has also provided leadership to the Colorado Black Round Table (CBRT) and their efforts to provide advocacy, information and programming in the African American community. She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions.
CCD Champion | Elaine Baker
In 1964, while a scholarship student at Harvard University, Elaine DeLott Baker was recruited to teach summer school at Tougaloo College, a Historic Black College on the outskirts of Jackson, Mississippi. It was an important moment in American history, called “Freedom Summer.”
That fall, Baker joined the movement as a “field worker” for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), where she worked on increasing economic opportunities for black Mississippians. The lessons of the Freedom Movement — the power of community, the strength and wisdom of “ordinary people,” and the importance of engaging the community with the political and social resources to support change — created the road map of her professional life. In 1989, the family moved to rural southern Colorado, where Baker continued her work with the Hispanic population, writing and directing a series of grants that strengthened the community.
In 1989, the family moved to Denver, where Baker renewed her commitment to education. She worked as a GED instructor and curriculum coordinator for the non-profit Adult Learning Source, as a student and research assistant in University of Colorado Denver’s Educational Leadership and Innovation doctoral program, as UCD’s honoraria faculty and as a CCD instructor and administrator.
Baker’s experience of the transformative nature of education led her to write and direct a series of CCD and Colorado Community College System grants to increase learning opportunities for underserved populations, including workplace education and developmental education reform. Her efforts led to national work in these areas as a subject matter expert, presenter, author, and consultant for foundations, state community college systems, and most recently, the Aspen Foundation’s College Excellence Program.